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March 23, 2019 

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HERFINDAHL-HIRSHMAN INDEX: A measure of concentration of the production in an industry that's calculated as the sum of the squares of market shares for each firm. This is an alternative method of summarizing the degree to which an industry is oligopolistic and the relative concentration of market power held by the largest firms in the industry. The Herfindahl index gives a better indication of the relative market control of the largest firms than can be found with the four-firm and eight-firm concentration ratios.

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DEADWEIGHT LOSS: A net loss in social welfare that results because the benefit generated by an action differs from the foregone opportunity cost. This is usually the combination of lost consumer surplus and lost producer surplus, and indicates of the inefficiency of a situation. Deadweight loss is commonly illustrated by a market diagram if the quantity of output produced results in a demand price that exceeds the supply price. The triangle formed by the demand curve above, supply curve below, and quantity to the left is the area of deadweight loss. If demand price equals supply price, this triangle disappears and so too does the deadweight loss. Deadweight loss can result from government actions (taxes, price controls) or from market failures (externalities, market control)

     See also | efficiency | welfare economics | demand price | supply price | inefficiency | market | tax incidence | price ceiling | price floor | externalities | market control |


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RELATIVELY INELASTIC

An elasticity alternative in which relatively large changes in one variable (usually price) cause relatively small changes in another variable (usually quantity). In other words, quantity is not very responsive to price. Quantity does change, but not much, in response to large changes in price. This characterization of elasticity is most important for the price elasticity of demand and the price elasticity of supply. Relatively inelastic is one of five elasticity alternatives. The other four are perfectly elastic, perfectly inelastic, relatively elastic, and unit elastic.

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